In a recent conversation I expressed that I believe it’s important to show interest in your interests, especially if it’s something you want a career in.
If you want to get into photography are you taking photos, learning about the manual settings on your camera, attending exhibitions etc. And how often are you doing these things?
I’m interested in personal development/wellness/spirituality/mental health/self exploration. I show my interest by writing about these things, attending events, talking about them, reading books, listening to podcasts and taking online classes.
Aside from these things being my interests, I also consider them to be important which is why I make a conscious effort to dedicate time to them each day.
However, if your interest in what you want to pursue only goes as far as saying your interested, then you’re probably not interested enough.
Over the past few weeks I’ve been asking myself the question ‘what is this blog about?’.
I’ve been thinking about the topics I share most often and how that can be encapsulated into a few words, a clear answer to my question.
Over the past few months I’ve been in a personal development, problem solving, self-help space which is reflected in my writing.
But in the last few days the ideas I’ve had for blog posts have been things I’ve noticed or observed, nothing to do with personal development.
I was then reminded of the origin of this blog, taking the opportunity to notice something in myself or the world then use that to find a lesson, growth point or a helpful reminder.
It’s a balance of introspection and extrospection.
To observe and understand life in the same way that we can observe and understand ourselves.
It’s a mix of personal development, self-discovery/exploration, career, social-media, wellness and blogging tips.
I think this happens to us all from time to time.
Stress and anxiety can result in time ‘speeding up’. You spend so much time feeling overwhelmed that by the time you go to take action, it already feels like it’s too late. And so you go back to feeling overwhelmed again and the cycle repeats.
When you feel like there isn’t enough time, your instincts probably tell you to speed up but it turns out that you’re better off doing the opposite. An easy way to slow yourself down is to meditate.
Taking just 10 minutes is incredibly impactful because it’ll help to reduce overwhelm. But also, 10 minutes of meditation feels a lot longer than 10 minutes of watching a tv show. It’s sort of like time slows down when you relax which might inspire you to embrace a more relaxed way of living.
Make note of how you feel
Perhaps you feel tired, stressed, jittery or tense. What can you do to help combat those things? Identifying how you feel not just emotionally but also physically can be great a great starting point to help shift the feelings.
Stretching or a quick workout could help calm the jitters. If you’re tired, maybe you need to rest. Once you tend to your needs you can get back to doing whatever needs to be done from a much more relaxed headspace.
Write down exactly what you need to do
It’s easy to get overwhelmed by big tasks and feel like ‘there’s so much to do i don’t have enough time, I don’t know where to start’. Writing things down helps ease the anxieties because once you know exactly what you need to do it makes it much easier to start getting things done. For people like me bigger tasks need to be broken down into smaller tasks.
An example of this is when I was recently tidying my bedroom, I wrote down each specific area I wanted to tidy. Doing this made me realise the overall task wouldn’t take as long as I thought and I actually had more than enough time to do it. However, because I’d given myself several smaller tasks it meant that I could have split them over 2 or 3 days if I genuinely didn’t have enough time to do it in one day.
If you’re used to always being the one to bend to the needs of another, you might reach a point where you decide to change. Perhaps after an epiphany about the importance of balance.
When it comes to some change, the advice is to go slow and take it bit by bit. However, when it comes to changing a habit of compromising, it’s probably more helpful to go cold turkey.
The reason for this is that no compromise allows you to gain clarity on exactly what you want to do for yourself without taking others into account.
It’s then from a place of clarity of your own needs that you can learn to compromise properly.
Through periods of overwhelm it’s easy to feel lost and stuck. When there are 101 problems finding a solution can be challenging.
Often, the best place to start is by figuring out what you need in the moment.
Finish the sentence:
When I feel anxious in a crowded place, I need…
Perhaps you’re in a crowded place feeling anxious, sirens are going off in your mind and part of you just wants to go home this instant.
But all you need is a moment alone in a quiet place to do something soothing like count, a sensory exercise or tapping.
It takes practice to know what you need, practice to know when to apply it and practice to be able to take space to care for yourself.
But practice makes perfect so it’s worth a try.
Think about all the things that are currently bothering you, contribute to you feeling stuck or just causing a problem in your life. Write them down one by one.
Now go through each of them and think about what needs to change in order to overcome the problem. Then, write it down.
If you’re not sure, give yourself options. It could be 2 possible solutions or it could be 10.
The purpose of the exercise is to remind you that although you may feel stuck, all of your problems have solutions.
An easy way to simplify your life and get into the habit of doing things you care about is to create routines.
It could be a morning, evening or exercise routine.
Lets take the morning, start by thinking about what the best way to start your day would be.
In-fact make a list. Maybe you want to feel a certain way or you know that if you don’t do x, y, z your morning won’t run smoothly.
And so that might mean setting an earlier alarm so you have the time to fit in what you want to do, not watching YouTube or going on social media so you can start your day by just focusing on you or preparing things the night before.
Your morning could consist of a combination of things like: meditation, journaling, reading, stretching, Twitter, coffee, tea, Instagram, YouTube, exercise, visualisation, nature sounds, stretches, podcasts, praying, gratitude etc.
You don’t need to do what anyone else does, experiment and find a routine that works well for you.
We can be so quick to find ourselves and figure ourselves out that we end up taking on traits, roles and habits to help us feel less lost.
We then close ourselves off to experimentation and new ideas, it’s too risky.
In turn this leads to you becoming a person that isn’t really you, it’s just the person you’re pretending to be. You either commit to being that person for the rest of your life or you reach a point where you choose to change.
When you truly realise that the person you’ve been showing up as is not only not the ‘real’ you but also not the person you want to be, it allows all that is not you to fall away.
This then opens you up to you, stripped back with nothing to prove.
After a difficult or challenging life experience whether mental or physical, you end up in a recovery period.
For example, imagine you fall off your bike and break your leg. Your recovery period would be the cast and crutches but eventually you’re walking again. Another example is a breakup, it could take a few weeks or even months to emotionally recover from a relationship ending.
The recovery net is where you end up when you’re not willing to let go of the comfort/safety of being in recovery.
If we go back to the bike story. Imagine, you’re at the point where your leg has healed and you no longer need the crutches but you can’t seem to let them go.
You’re physically ready to ride again but you keep making excuses because you need them when the truth is you’re scared without them. You’re scared of falling.
And with a relationship ending your recovery net might be never committing to one person so that when one situation ends you’ll always have someone else.
The recovery net is the method that we use to protect ourselves from things that brought us some form of harm/pain. Not because we’re in any danger but because the idea of the potential danger scares us so much that we aren’t really ready to make the true leap and risk being hurt again.
I think most people have a list of at least a few things that they can do to improve their days.
Some examples could be exercise, being out in nature, mediation, yoga, drinking water, herbal tea, solo dance party, listening to music, journaling or going for a walk.
None of those things necessarily take a lot of time but they’re things that you have to make time for. They require more effort than sitting on the sofa binging episodes of a show but they come with way more benefits.
So, when you feel like you can’t be bothered, keep that in mind.